In this post I am going to answer one of my students’ most asked questions: is it possible to learn European Portuguese with Duolingo?
If you want to find out, keep reading 🙂
What is Duolingo?
If you have been studying languages online, chances are you already know what Duolingo is. According to the people at Duolingo themselves, this is the most popular language-learning platform and the most downloaded education app in the world, with more than 300 million users.
It features a lot of different languages, including Portuguese. But is European Portuguese included?
You can also learn about this topic by watching my YouTube video here:
European Portuguese vs Brazilian Portuguese
If you have read some of my previous posts, you know that Portuguese is spoken in many, many countries. In fact, Portuguese is spoken in Portugal, Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde, São Tomé, Macau, Timor and some other countries.
However, the two variants of the language that students most want to learn seem to be either Brazilian or European Portuguese, with Mozambican Portuguese coming right after.
But are these variations of the language so different, or can you learn one and immediately be fluent in the other?
Well, not so fast…
While knowing one variation of the language will certainly help you along the way, it can actually also hinder your progress.
See, while they ARE the same language, Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese do have key differences.
One of the biggest of those being the pronunciation.
In fact, if you know and are used to Brazilian Portuguese, chances are that at the beginning at least, you will have some trouble understanding the Portuguese spoken in Portugal.
But what does this have to do with Duolingo?
Keep reading to find out.
Portuguese in Duolingo
So, is it possible to learn European Portuguese in Duolingo, you may be asking? Well, while you can certainly learn Portuguese, you will only find the Brazilian variation.
Therefore, if you want to learn European Portuguese in Duolingo, you won’t be so lucky.
Truth is, most of the students that come to me tell me that they started learning Portuguese in Duolingo, but what they didn’t realise or only realised much later, was that they were actually learning the variation that they did not want.
Again, this does not mean that learning Brazilian Portuguese is going to completely kill your progress with European Portuguese. But in my opinion, you should not continue down that path if you are serious about learning European Portuguese.
In fact, I understand why students end up in Duolingo. It is an easy app, super engaging and PLUS finding good resources in European Portuguese is not easy. Also, Brazilian Portuguese is actually super cute too 🙂
But again, if you want to find out good resources in European Portuguese, keep reading.
Below, I will tell you all about some of the best resources out there to learn Portuguese from Portugal that you can start using today to improve… There will be some FREE resources too at the end, so don’t go away without checking them out 🙂
How to learn European Portuguese online
If you’ve been searching and searching for good online resources in European Portuguese and you haven’t been able to find them, here you will finally see your questions answered.
If you are searching for some similar apps to Duolingo that offer European Portuguese, you can check the following:
You can find all the details online about these apps, but essentially they follow a little bit the pattern of Duolingo. So if you like these kind of apps, maybe you should try one of these.
On the other hand, if you also would like a course that has someone guiding you from beginning to end and that is there with you all the way through, why not trying a good online course? If this sounds good to you, why not taking a look at my very own self-study, 100% online European Portuguese Online Courses.
I have the following:
- The European Portuguese Master Course – it will take you from a Beginner Level (A1) to an Upper-Intermediate Level (B2) in less than 50 hours. You can follow it at your own pace, learning everything related to Portuguese and Portugal – grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, useful tips, culture, useful dialogs you can use at the doctor, at the pharmacy, when you meet someone…and so much more! I also use good resources, right from the source – Portuguese videos, TV shows, music, cartoons…it’s going to be fun!
- The European Portuguese Speech Course – You will learn the elemental sounds of the European Portuguese and hear real native speakers speaking. I will give you charts, show you where and how to position your tongue, lips, how you should let the air flow out of your mouth to being able to master all those tricky sounds like the “nh” or the “lh”. They are complicated, right? Not anymore if you follow this course and take all the tips with you!
- Story Time – Interactive Stories in Portuguese – This is a “not so traditional” course. If you love to learn while doing, this will be perfect for you. This membership course allows you to follow stories all in Portuguese. You will be asked to listen to them many, many times, until you know them almost by heart. You will need to take your time. Then, you will be asked to interact with those stories and answer questions related to them. This will create new pathways in your brain that will help you understand the language much better in no time! But that is not all: you will also see that your speaking will start improving. Isn’t that awesome?
If you are serious about learning European Portuguese and you don’t want to continue learning from Brazilian Portuguese resources, then you should come and check one of my courses.
Ideally, you should start with the Master Course and the Speech Course. Later on, you can also join Story Time to see what you’ve learnt in action.
If you are more a “learning by doing” kind of student, then you can jump with both feet into Story Time and learn solely through this course.
Honestly, you can come check it out and if you don’t see value in the courses, you can ask for a refund. You have 30 days after purchase to do that. So, you will not lose anything! 🙂 In fact, imagine what you can win:
- Speaking confidently to native speakers
- Not feeling silly in front of other people when speaking Portuguese
- Sounding more native like than you ever imagined
- Understanding complex sentences without problems
- Finally connecting to the Portuguese community, making friends and maybe more…who knows?
The list goes on…
What do you think?
Would you like to try these resources in European Portuguese? Let me know in the comments below.
Learn European Portuguese Online for Free
If you are still not convinced, and you want to try something for free first, and check out my teaching methods before you commit to something bigger, you can also check these resources that will allow you to learn European Portuguese online for free.
- European Portuguese Podcast – I post a new episode every week to my free podcast. It is called Mia’s Portuguese Podcast and I speak about everything and anything – 100% in Portuguese!
- Portuguese Youtube Channel – In my Youtube channel, I post small videos every week (usually more than once a week) about Portugal and everything Portuguese. If you want to find out how to tell your friends to stop annoying you in Portuguese, or how to say “make-up” in Portuguese, among other useful, funny and interesting things, head to the channel, and you will find out! Don’t forget to subscribe 😉
- Portuguese Instagram Page – My Instagram is also packed with videos and useful tips. Besides, you can also get to know a little bit more about me, my friends, my family and even Nala, my super cute Portuguese Podengo dog 🙂
AND NOW THE GRAND-FINALE:
- Kickstart Your Portuguese – The Basics – This is a 100% FREE Online Course that will teach you the basics so you can start having your first interactions with Portuguese speakers. You will learn how and when to use the verbs SER and ESTAR, how to introduce yourself, how to pronounce certain tricky sounds and so much more! All for FREE! You can check out my method and decide whether you want to continue studying with me later on. No strings attached!
So, as you can see, there are many opportunities to learn the Portuguese spoken in Portugal for free from the comfort of you home (or wherever you are :)) Come and join me and let me know what you think about these resources.
Also, let me know: are you learning just one or more of the variations of Portuguese?
While I love Portuguese from Portugal, I just want to add that neither variation is better or worse than the other, and I believe that they just complete each other and make the language even more beautiful and rich!
In conclusion, I would like to invite you to lean in to the world of European Portuguese and to try one of the amazing resources I mentioned above.
If you are already one of my students, let others know what you think of my courses.
I wish you a happy day, wherever you are!
12 thoughts on “European Portuguese with Duolingo – is it possible?”
I speak probably an advanced intermediate level of Brazilian Portuguese as I lived a year in Brazil. However, I’m going to Portugal this summer. What I want to work on is specifically the accent. Not sure the best way to do that…
Olá, Suiki 🙂
If you want to work on your accent, I would advise you to check out the following course:
This course helps you with the difficult sounds of European Portuguese and it lets you hear Portuguese native speakers speaking in their normal speech rate so that you can learn the language as it really is.
Story Time – Interactive Stories in Portuguese is also a really good course to train your ear because it’s a course composed of Portuguese stories, so you hear the language in a more natural way. Here is the link:
This is really great to help you with pronunciation. I would advise you to check the Speech Course first and then, if you have the time, check Story Time as well 🙂
Please let me know if you need any further help.
Thank you for your video. I’m wondering if you have suggestions for learning Portuguese with younger children. My daughter is 5 yrs old but I need something a little more kid friendly.
You’re welcome 🙂
Maybe you can try to check youtube? Also, Rtp.pt has a kid zone, with children’s videos 🙂
Have you checked that?
How do I learn more about the courses you offer?
Thank you for your email 🙂
You can watch my free webinar, where I am speaking a bit about my teaching methods and introduce also my courses:
You can find a full list of my courses here:
Also, feel free to send me a message with any of your questions to email@example.com
this looks great. I can speak pretty basic Portuguese, having spent more than 40 years now visiting, living and working in Portugal. I get by pretty well – with Portuguese learnt in the tascas of Alentejo.. 🙂 and understand most basic stuff, and most people but want to learn more and be able to have wider and deeper conversations and improve my comprehension ( and verbs ! Argghhh ! )
I tried Duo Lingo for some revision and practice, but soon worked out it was all Brazilian.
So this is great. I shall be signing up soon. Who could resist the chance to talk with you !
Oh, that’s nice – learning Portuguese in the tascas of Alentejo sounds like fun!
I hope to see you in one of my courses soon!
If you need anything along the way, let me know 🙂
I completely agree with you concerning Duolingo. Any of their users should know from the start that they are learning the Brazilian variant.
For those interested in European Portuguese, Memrise would be a perfect substitute. And in my personal opinion, Memrise is even better.
But both Duolingo and Memrise have limitations concerning how far they can take us. And this applies to any of all these other “one size fits all” courses.
I commend your effort in crafting these more in-depth courses. It is great that the entry-level is Beginner Level (A1). That embraces any of us wanting to learn the European variant.
I would love to immerse myself in the stories you have prepared for learning the language. This “non-traditional” approach is very effective, in my book.
I had visited your site some years ago. It’s exciting to come back and see how much your brand has grown. The content on your site is great. Your podcasts are fun to listen. And your YouTube channel is very nice. But what has impressed me the most is the thoughtful approach to your courses.
I know that building all this takes hard work and persistence. It’s inspiring to visit your platform. Thank you!
Oh thank you so much for your kind words 🙂
It makes me so happy that you see the value and effort I put into making these courses. Thank you!
Please do come back any time and if you have any questions or suggestions, just let me know 🙂
Muito obrigado Mia! You are so very clear and concise. I follow all your channel videos and podcasts. They’re great. I’ll try your kickstarter, why not? Bejinhos,
thank you so much for your feedback 🙂
See you within the Kickstarter Course then 🙂